Posted by Rampant Coyote on August 16, 2013
The Humble Bundle started as the “Humble Indie Bundle,” but hasn’t been purely indie for a while. The Humble THQ Bundle – sort of a last gasp from a dying publisher (but one of the better-liked ones) – was a clear signal that it wasn’t just about the indies anymore. I kind of looked at it a different way though. To me, it was the final flag of submission. The indies won. The big publishers were taking the, “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” approach.
So yeah, I get a little annoyed that a venue that used to be reserved for indies was now being used by the guys who those venues were created specifically to thwart. But hey – be gracious in victory and all that. No, it’s not like victory is ever final, and the indies will always compete against their big-budget brethren, and yes I’m still a little bit annoyed… but I didn’t get too worked up about it.
Which is why I’m not getting too worked up about the latest “Humble” Bundle – the Humble Origin Bundle (briefly entitled, I hear rumor, the Humble EA Bundle, but I guess the oxymoron was a little too laughable). EA is going all out on this one, donating 100% of its proceeds to charity. That’s right, everything but the tip to the humble bundle guys goes to charity (something a lot of people opted for with the THQ bundle, after all…)
So is EA just feeling magnanimous this week? Actually, I’ll bet there are a lot of folks at EA corporate who are feeling pretty pleased with their charitable efforts right now, and they ought to be. But as a win-win opportunity, the business case for this is simply to get a whole lot more users on their Origin service. That’s no secret. I guess EA is seeing the writing on the wall, and figures this is a chance to jump-start Origin to compete with Steam. They’ve got a long way to go, especially with a (relatively) limited presence of third-party titles.
I’m not particularly fond of Origin. We can start with its name – how’s that for a misuse of the brand name that once produced the Ultima and Wing Commander series? Just the fact that it is EA is a black mark. I don’t want to have fifty gazillion game clients running simultaneously on my machine, yet I do want Valve to face some serious competition… and I don’t know where it would come from if not from an organization that has deep pockets. Sure, a lot are trying, but it’ll take a lot of money and sustained effort to even threaten Valve’s dominance.
Go figure. I’m a paradox.
I’d suggest EA’s gamble paid off… they’ve sold well over a million copies of the bundle so far. I guess that’s a lot of new (or newly reactivated) Origin accounts. And it’s a lot of money to charity and the Humble Bundle guys. Maybe I’m just tired, but I just can’t generate much of a nerd-rage over this.
Filed Under: Mainstream Games - Comments: 7 Comments to Read